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See John Oliver, Janeane Garofalo, and more on May 20th; details here.
Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour
[TOP PICK] [$] 5:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($45): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional
7:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match
[FREE] 7:00 pm: This unique musical improv open-mic show lets both beginners and veterans get on stage and belt one out accompanied by brilliant improv pianist Frank Spitznagel at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street) hosted by Douglas Widick: Spot Song
7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): “Dramatic readings of literary masterpieces such as Total Recall, The Goonies, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and so many more” performed by such talents as Bethany Hall, Rob Sheffield, and Sarah Knowles at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Marlow Riley, Liam McEneany, and Heidi Vanderlee: The Third Novelization
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), and Abigoliah Schamuan (host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar) performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Nimesh Patel, Jon Stein, Jennie Sutton, and more performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street) hosted by J.F. Harris: Comedy at Irish Exit
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
9:30 pm ($10): A sketch troupe using recent events as the foundation for material performing at The PIT upstairs theatre directed and co-written by J.D. Durkin with co-writer Scott Swayze: Gramercy Boulevard
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time”—for a sample, please click here—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: This special showcase lets you sample about a half-dozen of the productions currently running at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, with snippets from The Show, Short Bus, See You In Hell, Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar, Hard Lonely and Vicious, and more hosted by Pat Dixon: The Best of The Creek
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer
[TOP PICK] 10:30 ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist: Late and Dirty
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark
11:00 pm ($8): Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.
Midnight ($5): Stand-ups Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Abigoliah Schamuan (host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar), plus sketch comedy bits, at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana
Midnight ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) hosts a variety show at UCB East that tonight features Emily Schorr Lesnick (sketch), Tahlia Robinson (music), and an improv jam led by Nayomi Reghay & Nikita Burdeint: The Soul Glo Project
From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.